"The most common complaint among those trapped in offices doing nothing all day is just how difficult it is to repurpose the time for anything worthwhile. One might imagine leaving millions of educated young men and women without any real responsibilities but with access to the internet... might spark some sort of Renaissance." but no. "Instead, the situation has sparked an efflorescence of social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter): basically, all forms of electronic media that lend themselves to being produced and consumed while pretending to do something else."

Need to be on call, spend time looking over your shoulder, maintain a false front, never looking too obviously engrossed, unable to fully collaborate with others-- "all this lends itself much more to a culture of computer games, YouTube rants, memes, and Twitter controversies than to, say, the rock 'n' roll bands, drug poetry, and experimental theater created under the midcentury welfare state."

"What we are witnessing is the rise of those forms of popular culture that office workers can produce and consume during the scattered, furtive shards of time they have at their disposal in workplaces where even when there's nothing for them to do, they still can't admit it openly."

"Requires ingenuity and determination to take time that's been first flattened and homogenized--as all work time tends to be in what James calls 'sterile office environments'-- then broken randomly into often unpredictably large fragments, and use that time for projects requiring thought and creativity. Those who manage to do so have already suck a great deal of their creative energies just into putting themselves in a position where they can use their time for anything more ambitious than cat memes. There's nothing wrong with cat memes. But one would like to think our youth are meant for greater things."

fragmentation of free time